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Belarus is a landlocked nation in Eastern Europe. The word Belarus means "White Russia." In 1796 the land now called Belarus was taken over by the Russian Empire. At times the Belarusian language was forbidden in schools in favor of Russian. The Belarus Orthodox Church was made a part of the larger Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian Imperial government forced the Cyrillic alphabet on Belarus. In 1922 the Belarus Socialist Republic became one of the founding members of the Soviet Union. In 1991 Belarus became a separate country after the breakup of the Soviet Union, but it remains a close ally of Russia.
Many Christian resources are available in Belarusian including complete Bibles, radio programs and the JESUS Film.
Since 1991 many Belarusians, especially young people, have left their home and immigrated to other nations in search of a better life. These destinations include countries in Western Europe, the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel and Argentina.
Belarusians began arriving in Argentina in the 19th century. Most were either Jewish or single men. After WWII the Soviet government called on the Belarusian diaspora to return to eastern Europe. Most Argentine Belarusians decided to stay in their adopted country.
The lifestyles of the Belarusians in their adopted new homes varies depending on their new country. Today the majority of the descendants of these Belarusians make up a part of the Argentine middle class. They work in agriculture, trade and manufacturing.
Nine out of ten Belarusians identify as Christians. The large majority of them are affiliated with the Belarusian or Russian Orthodox Churches.
Most Belarusians are Eastern Orthodox in name only. They are baptized, married and buried in the church. Most do not attend services on a regular basis. Some Argentine Belarusians have become Roman Catholic.
Eastern Orthodox members and evangelicals have much in common. Both believe in the Trinity, the deity and resurrection of Christ and the inspiration of the Bible. Unlike Roman Catholic priests, clergy in the Eastern Orthodox Churches may marry and have children. There is no position of Pope in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. It is safe to say that most of the members of the Orthodox Churches in Belarus lack a personal, love relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Belarusian Christians need to see the love and grace of Jesus Christ demonstrated to them in practical ways. They must be taught or discipled in the ways of the Lord. They must understand that their faith needs to be more than a tradition or system of morality.
Pray that the Lord spiritually revives the priests and bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Churches leading to a Christ-oriented spirituality.
Pray that the Holy Spirit leads Belarusians to read their Bibles and listen to gospel radio programs.
Pray for the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among Belarusians in Argentina.